Thursday, August 03, 2006

The take is in fact the premiere moment, and I was reminded of this last night. In fact, this event was confirmation that you don't even need to fight or land the fish really... An amazing take can be written into your brain - it seems that the tip of a fly rod can etch grooves in your mind like a laser writes to your CD-R. Case in point - I can't flush that big carp from last week out of my mind - the leviathan that sucked in my fly in perfect fashion... the pig that I released by way of breaking my line at a tippet knot. Tragic is what it was... Last night was just as good though.

I have had some success the past few nights ripping poppers around on the glassy surface of the lake on which my father and his wife live - caught some nice 1-2 lb bass, and even coaxed two pike to the surface - one of which sheared me off immediately in an acrobatic eruption, the other was landed only because I lipped him (also a great missle-like take). Both of those fish were relatively small though. In general, action has been intermittent and okay... not fast, furious or outstanding. Popper fishing is great though... BIG popper fishing is even better because it keeps the little ones away. Back to last night then - cast for ~20 minutes, and got no action. The only notable item was that my brother told me he could easily outfish me using a leadhead minnow with a plastic body. I didn't deny it - he is a great fisherman... but I tried to mention something about process as compared to results. After he and my father retired for the night, I went looking for some virgin water (I've worked over the weedline around my dad's dock, and I think they are somewhat educated (or pricked) by now). Neighbor was not around, and apparently he doesn't mind if folks use his dock... so I ran over there as the mosquitoes began to appear in exponentially increasing fashion. On my fourth or fifth cast of a carefully made deer hair popper, here is what happened:

The fly plopped down on the outer edge of the weeds, and just on the outside of the bed, I saw a barely-discernable movement... thinking back, I can't remember what I saw, but I remember seeing it. That motion gave me pause, and that pause allowed for a fish - a BIG fish - to make a WAKE while cruising just under the water surface toward that popper... while making the wake, it seemed to be moving its head from side to side - kind of like it was saying "AHHHH, I'M GONNA CRUSH THAT THING... AHHH, HERE I COME!" When it got to the popper, a nice water-bass WHOOMBP sound hit my ears and the fly disappeared in a turbulent swirl. I knew the fly was gone (no steel leader) - I actually remember thinking to myself "it's gone" - but I set the hook anyway and my limp line came floating back to me. My mouth hung open for a while, and I stared at the water. I wished the fish well and told him that the barbless hook will probably fall out very soon. All in all, it was one for the ages - even though I never felt the weight of the fish or witnessed the square-dance he could have performed on my 5/6 wt.

The best way I can summarize it is with music: while I was watching that wake move toward the popper, the drum roll was reaching a crescendo... when the fish struck, someone hit the cymbal, and as I pulled in the fly-less line there could be heard a long, constant bass tone signifying the drama of it all.

Esox lucius - Google it if you don't know the name. I'll be looking for more of the same imagery tonight. If I can get my dad to come out with me, you may be treated to a photo.

9 Comments:

Blogger john montana said...

nice justin...keep the images coming (verbal or visual). got my hands full here but still need the occasional fishing fix!

10:10 PM  
Blogger MN Justin said...

Got out again last night - Dad was throwing a Moss Boss with spinning gear and I was setting poppers down everywhere - felt great: conditions were good, no wind, nice evening... and I'd forgotten how well that Pro Graphite lays the DT6 line out there so gracefully - pretty cool. But - no fish at all. I drew one nice roll from a largemouth, but he totally missed the popper and he wouldn't come back for it.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Realtor said...

Didn't know J you had a blog. Didn't know it was linked to Northfield.org either. Pretty sure I know who John Montana is too...quite an X-rated name though if I may note. I really need to go fishing with you guys...would be an education to be sure!

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